Most unaccompanied children in Greece at risk: Report

Most unaccompanied children in Greece at risk: Report

Situation ‘out of line with many EU states’ where almost half of bloc grant permits to unaccompanied children, says Save The Children

By Burak Bir

LONDON (AA) - Less than one-third of unaccompanied children received asylum in Greece last year, leaving the rest at risk, according to a report Thursday by Save The Children.

The Without Papers, There is No Life report revealed that the most unaccompanied children in Greece are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation with 981 of 3,175 asylum applications accepted in 2022.

"Unaccompanied children rely on Greece's legal framework to offer them protection and safety – the government must ensure all these children have a residence permit," said Daniel Gorevan, senior advocacy advisor at Save the Children.

Research, which includes interviews with 12 unaccompanied children, noted that although the rejection rate is not publicly available, the figures suggest many children are left without legal documentation needed to enable them to remain in Greece.

"When I didn't have papers, and was waiting to get registered, it was like a prison. I didn't have the possibility to leave the camp, go to the market, see where we are – I spent all my time on my mobile phone," said Mahir, 14, from Iraq.

The report indicated that the situation in Greece is "out of line with many EU states," where almost half of its member states grant residence permits to unaccompanied children.

"Denied legal documentation, children can also accumulate debts from covering their basic needs, leaving them even more exposed to abuse," said Lefteris Papagiannakis, director of the Greek Council for Refugees.

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